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Birthday Poems

Happy birthday, Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker
Symptom Recital

I do not like my state of mind;
I'm bitter, querulous, unkind.
I hate my legs, I hate my hands,
I do not yearn for lovelier lands.
I dread the dawn's recurrent light;
I hate to go to bed at night.
I snoot at simple, earnest folk.
I cannot take the gentlest joke.
I find no peace in paint or type.
My world is but a lot of tripe.
I'm disillusioned, empty-breasted.
For what I think, I'd be arrested.
I am not sick, I am not well.
My quondam dreams are shot to hell.
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore;
I do not like me any more.
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse.
I pond on the narrow house.
I shudder at the thought of men . . .
I'm due to fall in love again.

-- Dorothy Parker

Poem in the Manner of Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker, author
of witty poems and stories,
did not foresee
that spectacles would be-
come fashion accessories.
“Men seldom make passes
At girls who wear glasses.”

Today for a lark

I sat in Washington Square Park
and thought of Miss Parker,
and what she might say,
assessing the spectacle of our day:
“Even the nicest lasses
Have tattoos on their asses.”

-- David Lehman

December 12, 2017

July 28, 2017

May 31, 2017

June 11, 2016

June 01, 2016

November 15, 2015

June 17, 2015

August 21, 2014

April 13, 2014

March 02, 2014

February 13, 2014

January 20, 2014

January 19, 2014

January 18, 2014

January 01, 2014

November 30, 2013

November 28, 2013

October 25, 2013

October 24, 2013

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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